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Keep your child having happy feet

"A child spends the majority of the day in the shoes, so they need to be comfortable for them to walk and play in without any irritation,” says Jade Ampomah, a designer at Dubai-based footwear retailer Shoe Mart. Features such as memory foam padding built into shoes and socks can improve comfort.

A good shoe needs to have four properties, says Thomas Vangsgaard, Director of Ecco Kids. “It should be lightweight and soft, with flexible materials to give maximum mobility and comfort; it must have a purpose, with no unnecessary elements; it should be soft enough to cushion a child’s foot comfortably; and the footwear should use breathable material.”

With its EcoOrthoLite insole, the adidas Altasport range ticks the requisite comfort boxes. Its sock liner has an open-cell structure that the manufacturer claims is 95-100 per cent breathable, useful when it’s 40 plus degrees Celsius out. Meanwhile, Ecco’s Fluidform tech sees shock-absorbent material injected into the shoe mould at the manufacturing stage. Shoe Mart’s Start-rite and Barefeet school lines both feature memory foam that adapts to a child’s foot shape.

Experts advise trying on shoes with the insoles already in the shoes. Then check to see if there’s room for the feet to grow, as a child’s feet grow at their fastest rate in their first few years.